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Cold homes have a significant impact on people’s health. One of the best ways of keeping well during winter is to stay warm. In recent years New Zealanders have become more active in correctly insulating their homes. If there is a reasonable level of insulation in the ceiling, floor and walls, windows are the main perpetrator of heat loss.

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Thermal lined curtains and blinds can significantly reduce heat loss through your windows. According to Energywise “Good curtains and blinds can reduce heat loss through windows by 60% for single glazed windows, and 40-50% for double glazing.” Leaving curtains and blinds open during the day allows the sun to heat your home and closing them just before dusk means that you are able to retain some of the heat overnight.

Glass is a poor insulator. When temperatures are colder outside than inside, glass conducts the heat from inside the house to the outside where it quickly disperses. The air next to the glass inside, having lost it's heat, becomes more cold and dense and falls to the floor drawing in new warm air from above. This cycle continues until you lose all your warm air outside.  The better you can seal off the window with curtains and blinds the less air will cycle past the window and the more heat will be retained in the room.

To provide good insulation your curtains should:

  • Be made from thick material
  • Use a minimum of two layers of fabric
  • Go from floor to ceiling
  • Fit tightly against the wall or window frame
  • Be wider than the window frame
  • Have pelmets above them

To provide good insulation, your blinds should:

  • Be specifically designed thermal blinds such as honeycomb blinds.
  • Have pelmets above them



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